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Japan's Kanto region hit with heavy snow

Publication Date : 09-02-2014


The Kanto region was hit with heavy snowfall Saturday as the archipelago was covered in snow over wide areas in eastern and western Japan due to a developing low pressure system moving over the Pacific and a cold air mass covering the country.

The Japan Meteorological Agency, which issued warnings of heavy snowfall Saturday morning, said the low pressure system would reach the Izu Islands on Saturday night, possibly causing violent snowstorms in and around the Kanto region.

The agency has warned people to stay at home due to fears of transportation disruptions and icy roads.

1st time in 13 years

The agency issued heavy snowfall warnings for all of Tokyo, except for island areas, shortly after 10am Saturday. It was the first time that heavy snow warnings were issued for Tokyo’s 23 wards in 13 years. Last time such warnings were issued, on Jan 27, 2001, up to eight centimetres of snow accumulated in central Tokyo.

As of 3pm Saturday, 10 centimetres of snow was observed in Tokyo, nine centimetres in Yokohama and Chiba and 19 centimetres in Chichibu, Saitama Prefecture, according to the agency.

The snowfall was expected to continue Sunday morning in the Kanto-Koshin regions after peaking Saturday night, according to the agency.

During the 24 hours until 6am Sunday, 50 centimetres of snowfall was expected in the Kanto-Koshin regions, 40 centimetres in the Chugoku, Kinki, Tokai and Tohoku regions, 30 centimetres on the plains in the northern Kanto region and 20 centimetres on the plains in the southern Kanto region, including Tokyo’s 23 wards.

Due to the snow, at least 94 people suffered injuries due to slippery roads in 12 eastern Japan prefectures on Friday, including Saitama and Kanagawa prefectures, as well as Tokyo.

Some private universities in the Tokyo metropolitan area such as Gakushuin University and Showa University delayed the start of entrance examinations Saturday.

Almost all flights of Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways to and from Haneda Airport were canceled Saturday. Train runs on the Tokaido and Sanyo Shinkansen lines were partially disrupted.

Traffic was totally suspended on the Shin Tomei Expressway and Nagano Expressway and partially suspended on the Chuo Expressway and the Daikoku route on the Metropolitan Expressway.


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